Nan Mustard's Recovery

This blog is a record of Erin (Nan) Mustard's recovery.

Tuesday, May 01, 2007

Tuesday evening under Jina's care.

Dear Friends and Family,
We are settling in this evening under the very professional care of Jina our nurse. She has Nan comfortable, warm and on TPN. It just came up from pharmacy finally. She kept after them until they finally delivered it. Nan is gradually waking up a bit at a time. She was able to tell the nurse the level of her pain, had some food for dinner, is getting ready to have a hot tea. Let me be clear, she is not awake and not talking at all unless she has to as a direct response to a question directed to her. But she is more awake tonight than last night and for that I am very thankful.
I did make the trip home this afternoon and was able to find all the things we needed here, Nan's comfortable pillow, her fluffy robe that Jan got for her, her slippers that Nikki got for her, our own thermometer just to be sure. I got some clean clothes, a shower, some water bottles, my mini printer for the mobile office, my portable table and a stack of work from the office that I can manage from here.
On my way back this evening I came upon a small plane parked on the freeway near Pittsburg. It had been forced down by engine failure or fuel shortage and my traffic was still moving. The traffic on the other side was backed up for many miles due to an accident that I am guess was caused by the plane landing. When I turned off the Highway the surface streets were jammed with people trying to find another way home and that took 30 minutes to get through. Then to Nan's room, a private with a cot for me, a private bath and a sink, very comfortable. As I entered the room Nan was in tears. The aid has just delivered her food tray and the table that stretches across the patient to hold the food had collapsed onto Nan's tummy and the pain was intense. The aid was beside herself knowing what she had done by accident. Gradually Nan stopped crying and regained her composure but her desire for food was somewhat less after that. I was able to feed her a few bits of chicken broth and that was about it. Now we have a cup of hot water for tea but I think Nan is headed for dreamland for awhile. We'll have to do her bandage later. This evening she was given half the normal pain med, 15 of oxycontin instead of the normal 30 but I think it will do the trick. She was beginning to have pretty strong pains in her back and legs having had no pain meds for the last 22 hours. It is a planned attempt to help her wake up again. I think we are dealing with extreme fatigue from the jet trip, the Mexican hospital, the high fevers over and over again and the stress of it all on her weakened system. Now she sleeps and I am so relieved to see it.
Today I've dealt with issues which arise when one is just returned using private travel from Mexico. A guy named Ramon is holding our luggage and will ship it through DHL when we can fax copies of our passports and copies of the plane log showing we were whisked out of Mexico for medical reasons. I tried to fax from the hospital but it would never go through so when I got home the first thing I did was to fax passport copies to Acapulco and they went through fine. Art helped with the access code for Mexico so it would work. This morning Dr. Ganey mentioned getting TPN going and as he walked out of the room he said they would have the formula at their office but he wrote a note to the nurses to get the formula from the husband. Fortunately they told me so I called Critical Care, talked with the pharmacist and got the formula faxed over to the hospital pharmacy and this evening it showed up. Now Nan can have nutrition after not having it since Sunday night. When doing medical things do not expect perfection, medical people have to do so much paper work and see so many people that they will not remember everything no matter what and the more complicated the patient the more chances of things getting lost, misplaced, forgotten or ignored. I no longer resent it, just embrace it that I am needed and I must watch over Nan for her own good. There are no medical shortcuts period.
Just now the aid is here to help empty her bags. She is doing a great job, no mishaps. She offered a hot blanket and Nan jumped at it but I had to nix the idea, do want fevers to get started again and keeping her comfortable but just warm enough seems to help with that. At some point we will get the infection headed off and she can have as many blankets as she wants but not tonight, not yet.
I have been helped emotionally today by the blog responses from loyal and caring friends. Believe me I read every one of them and cry over some, smile over some and feel the warm embrace from all. I enjoy and treasure the chance to talk with the kids too. Jason called this morning from DC and again later in the day, Jo called this evening and I've talked to Nikki several times. Jan caught me at home and was so supportive and caring, it helps folks. I'm long past having pride that I can just handle everything myself with no weak feelings etc. This is the hardest thing I have ever faced because Nan is the most precious gift God has ever given me and she is at risk and in danger, there is no other way around it. This is life at its difficult moment and I'm not that strong but neither am I giving up on Nan's recovery or our faith in a loving God. I do not know the long term future or even what tomorrow holds but I do know that we have been granted a wonderful life together, a life I never could have guessed when I was young and basically cut loose when my folks divorced. I was raised in a very poor situation, my mom worked hard cleaning houses of wealthy people so we could survive, then she worked ironing so I could have piano lessons, we laughed, enjoyed our meager existence and it was fine because we knew of nothing else. We never went on vacations, we only traveled when we needed to for a reason, a funeral, a church event, we did not play sports, we bought clothes for pure utility, not style or appearance (Nan would say I still do the same). We went to the local church, mom worked cleaning the school so I could attend. We drove a very old car. I learned that people could be persuaded to purchase things at the door so I purchased supplies of pens, pencils, pads and then went door to door selling them for a small profit. I discovered that a local Spudnut shop (donuts made from potatoes) would sell me 1/2 dozen donuts in white sacks which I picked up after school on my bike. I had a box which I kept on the bar between the handle bars and rode with my thumb in each corner to keep it in place. I would purchase about 5 or 6 bags of donuts and then went to a neighborhood where I had a route and delivered donuts. On a good day I cleared $1.00 in profit if I could sell out, other wise we ate donuts at home and my profit fell considerably. My brother co signed for me at a local equipment store so I could buy a three speed bike with handle brakes. It had a light and a little bag for storage and required a payment of a few dollars each month until it was paid off. My various jobs, early morning paper route, spudnut route, pens and pencils paid for the bike payment. So I had little thought of ever getting to travel or owning a new car or a house. Those ideas never crossed my mind at all.
My folks decided to send me to boarding school after their attempted reunion fell apart and I went to a school know as Laurelwood located a few miles from Portland. I arrived to a world where some of the kids had similar backgrounds to me but other came from families of substance and privilege. They didn't need to work at the mill making furniture or in the boiler house making steam, they lived the good life and I noticed for the first time really. The fact that I had an excellent singing voice started to open doors for me. I found my place in the social order not based on money or sport ability but on music. I would often win musical contests and had solos for important meetings including large meetings at Gladstone where thousands of people came every year to have camp meeting. At graduation I had managed to create a master tape using fellow students for backup music and had traveled to Portland many times by hitch hiking to a studio where they completed my master tape and using Capital Records in LA cut 500 albums, Tim Mustard Sings. On graduation day I did a solo and then had freshmen working outside for me playing that same song over and over and selling my album. That afternoon I purchased my first car from Ms Dunston, a wonderful English teacher who I adored, a 56 ford that was blue and white. $100 put me behind the wheel and I drove home from school with money and a car. It felt pretty good.
Music continued to open doors over the years and at summer camp before my senior year at Pacific Union College I met Nan. At first we just noticed each other, then this stunningly beautiful blond with hair to her waist and the voice of an angel started to sing with me and before the end of the summer we knew we would be making music together. We spent my senior year and her freshman year at PUC and married the day after graduation. Then cross country to Andrews University and more adventure with Greek, Hebrew, preaching, field work, field trips to Canada, little local churches and the seminary quartet.
Enough for tonight, this book needs a new chapter. I am so grateful to Nan for lifting me beyond my limited dreams into a better world, a world of close family, of hospitality, of creating warmth and blowout Christmases, of great birthday bashes, of raising kids of quality and substance. Nan is no average woman, as if there are any average women, she has made her mark in so many ways and helped me achieve goals, dreams and family in a way I never would have even conceived.
So when I see this powerhouse woman lying in a bed with limited awareness of what is going on and needing to be fed or the cup held up so she can drink, it is hard to accept that she has been reduced to this by our enemy and GIST. I am challenged to do everything in my power to be strong for her and to protect her and give her aid in every way possible.
For those of you who know her well you know of what I speak. Nan can be determined and hates to give up or in. She can make her wishes known and does not care to even discuss it at times. Yet these qualities have seen her through dark valleys most would fear to even consider. We are in one now and I see your prayers that light will begin to filter through the frees at the other end of the valley and that she will rise again to awareness, to humor, to ideas and yes her grandchildren.
I send our love tonight and have been so touched by calls from friends, from emails and blog responses, thank you from my heart and thank you from Nan who would want me to say that if she was aware enough.

tim and nan
PS we are now in room 311. Its not Mexico but it will have to do!!


  • At 6:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said…

    Tim, I've known you since we were 13 years old and were both attending Laurelwood, and you've always been an eloquent speaker with the voice of an angel. My mother loved your music and would often tear up when you sang "Sunrise, Sunset", and "Three Coins in a Fountain". I remember walking around at campmeeting and hearing your voice wafting thru the air as you sang in the "big tent" for services. I remember you well back in those days when you were painting and selling your records, driving your car purchased from Miss Dunston who we ALL adored. I remember you camping in the woods by yourself at our family farm when you were about 19 yrs old. I remember the tears of frustration brought on by a mean-spirited female in regards to your album.
    Reading about your struggles as a couple at this time of life when one hopes for peace, happiness and ease in life breaks my heart. I know you know that you both are cared for and thought of ever so often. I once again am dazzled by your eloquence and the love you show as you write about your life with Nan whom I've only had the pleasure of meeting once or twice at class reunions. When she's passed this current bump in the road, I know that her heart and soul will be warmed as she reads what you have written about and to her over this past year.
    My life has been made richer by reading of your love and care, and my soul more aware of what's important by you and Nan's daily struggles to survive.
    I think of you often and prayerfully as you go thru this storm. With love and admiration,

  • At 8:43 AM, Anonymous Bob & Carrol. said…

    Hi Tim,& Nan.

    We are following Your blog messages with deep concern for what You are going through right now. We know that the Lord is in charge of all things but when things do not go as We would like it is sometimes hard to accept.

    You have had quite a life journey to this point and I'm sure the Lord has more good things in store for You. We who Love you Two & follow this blog will continue to Pray for more comfortable & feeling good times to come Your way.

    The Valley is soaking in some gentel rain this morning and may the Peaceful Rain of the Holy Spirit fall on You this Day while We "wait" on the Lord .

    We are supposed to have Carpet Cleaners here today but when We set it up We expected Warm Weather and it is anything but that right now so I think I'll put it off for another week , I hate nursing a drying Carpet and the warmer weather makes the drying process much quicker. I guess I'll let the Carpet Guy make the call. We may have to settle for now or wait too much longer for a time when He can be here.

    Here is hopeing that Your Luggage will soon be here. Are You not so glad that You are in the Hospital on the east side of the Bay and not in S.F. given the Freeway colapse and the Traffic Night Mare that it has created.

    Continued Prayers & Much Love to You Both,

    Bob & Carrol.


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